Aermacchi MB- 326


MB-326  in 1/72 scale: : kit review & building report of the ITALERI kit
 

The Aermacchi or Macchi MB-326 is an Italian light military jet aircraft designed as a two-seat trainer in the nineteen fifties. It had a Viper jet engine and a mximum speed of about 700 km/hr. The Macchi company prototype flew end 1957 and the Italian air force quickly ordered about 100 aircraft. It later evolved into a single and two-seat light attack version. It was also exported to various countries like  in various versions. 

South Africa also manufactured starting in 1966 in license the MB-326M called the Impala by the Atlas Aircraft Corporation. The Silver Falcons, the SAAF aerobatic team, were equipped with Impala Mk Is.

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) used the MB-326H as a jet trainer with nearly 100 aircraft used. The RAAF's aerobatic team, The Roulettes, flew the MB-326H from December 1970 until 1989. 

Brazil was also a good customer with over 170 MB-326CG aircraft, locally built under the name AT-26 Xavante by Embraer. 

Dubai bought 6×MB-326KD, 1×MB-326L, 1×MB-326LD. 

Other countries were Zaire, Ghana, Tunesia and the Argentina Navy later on. Again, Italy also bought additional aircraft, until the MB-326 was replaced by the MB-339 between 1981 and 1984. 

 


Italeri issued a very nice kit (no. 1334) for a MB-326 K "Impala". It has decals for:
1/ SAAF , 4 squadron at Waterkloof 1970 with a camo scheme (indicated is: FS 34079, 30219, 36495)
2/ SAAF, 85 combat flight school, Hoedspruit 1990
3/ Brasil AF, Escadron Pacau 1/4 at Natal 2006 (with camo scheme indicated FS34079, 30219, 36495); I am not sure if the decals provided are correct.
4/ Italian AF , Pratica di Mare 1990 (camo FS 34079, 30219, 36495, 34258 green)
5/ Italian AF, Pratica di Mare 1979
6/ Dubai AF / Police wing, 1977 (scheme indicated FS 34079, 30219, 36495, 34258 green)

Note: Italeri also issued a kit # 1308 of the two seat version MB-326: 

These decals are very well printed. On the sprues no part numbers are engraved, use the instruction drawing. The rocket pods seem very large to me, and were not used.

This Italeri model was made straight out of the box as the Italeri kit is basic but very fine with nice panellines. The main wheel and gear is one part, a bit basic. The gun fairings are separate parts. Fit is pretty good of the parts. Do not forget the nose weight! 

In the cockpit from bits and pieces I added some more detail. It was painted light grey with decals for the instruments and consoles. I replaced the kit seat with a PAVLA #S72070 resin seat . The two small pitot tubes next to the windscreen are in the kit but not indicated in the instructions. 

When assembled, a grey based coat was applied using Revell aqua grey with the airbrush. 

A scheme in the kit is also for a MB-326KD single-seat ground-attack aircraft  as used in Dubai by the "Police Wing" in 1977. (later part of United Arab Emirates Air Force UAEAF). It was decided to pick this nice scheme. 

Acrylic colours used on this model were:
FS 34079 (Gunze Sangyo 309), 
FS 30219 (Gunze Sangyo 310), 
FS 36495 (Gunze Sangyo 338), 
FS 34258 green (I used Gunze Sangyo 312).

These acrylic colours were airbrushed. First the lower colour was airbrushed and when dried, masked.

The upper camouflage lines are "soft". This was achieved, while spraying "free handed", using a piece of carton. This obviously requires a very fine airbrush with associated fine needle.

Before applying the nice decals, set on a gloss undercoat to prevent "silvering". I used Johnson Future (Pledge) acrylic. 

When dry, the model was completed with the landing gears etc. The anti-collision lights were tipped with blue and red at tip tanks and spine. A drop of Micro Kristal Kleer suggested the lights. No underwing stores were added, only the pylons which were airbrushed before. 

The windscreen was fixed with white glue used to close the tiny gaps. When dried, the dried white glue edges were painted with a very fine paint brush. Two pitots were added as well, these parts are unnumbered but on the kit sprues. The canopy was set open, its edges got a black edge using a permanent black marker/scriber to make it look thinner. Also, 3 mirrors made from a piece of aluminium foil were added on the inside edge.

Some "wash" to suggest actual use of the aircraft was applied using the Promodeller black wash fluid, particularly at the edges of ailerons, rudder and the grills on the upper fuselage.

Finally, the model got a protecting coat of semi-matt varnish, using a mix of Johnson Future with a few drops mixed in of Tamiya matting agent "Flat Base" X21. 

That completed this very nice small MB-326 model of Dubai. 


MB-326KD ,  Dubai "Police Wing" in 1977. (later part of United Arab Emirates Air Force UAEAF).

A nice model in the collection of an unusual air force 

( The two seater MB-326 of the other Italeri kit will be build in the future of Congo AF) 
 


References:
Air International volume 14, page 267; Volume 31, page 291; Volume 34, page 165;

http://webcommunity.ilvolo.it/aermacchi-mb-326-k-%C3%A8-arrivato-anche-il-monoposto-t5959.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aermacchi_MB-326
 


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Created February 27, 2014